Bass Reeves Battles His Own Ego, Law, And Mind In Devastating Part VII Of ‘Lawmen’

Lauren Smith/Paramount+

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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This article contains spoilers from Part VII of “Lawmen: Bass Reeves” on Paramount+

David Oyelowo’s breathtaking portrayal of Bass Reeves took a dark turn Sunday, with the murder of a chef and a trial for the lawman.

Reeves hasn’t been himself since Part VI of the hit Paramount+ series “Lawmen: Bass Reeves,” when he finally realized Esau Pierce (Barry Pepper) is Mr. Sundown, the lawman murdering black men west of the Mississippi. But how different is Reeves to Pepper? Like Pepper, Reeves’ career is defined by marching white, black, Native American and all other races of people to their fate in the courts.

Struggling with the weight of his actions, and the morality of his career, Reeves goes off the deep end. His new chef releases a black woman charged with murder while Reeves and Billy Crow (Forrest Goodluck) sleep. In a fit of fear, anger, confusion and probably guilt, Reeves turns his gun on the chef. (RELATED: Apparently A Shocking Real-Life Story Is Ignored In ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves’)

The plot line is true to history. In 1884, Reeves shot and killed cook William Leach in Chickasaw Nation near the Canadian River, according to Forth Smith’s official website. It’s unclear whether Leach was killed by accident or over a disagreement about a dog, but Reeves stood trial for his murder.